Game remakes that could put a new twist on an old classic.
If there’s one thing the video game industry loves, it’s video game remakes.
It’s a simple formula, really. Take a beloved classic everyone loves, update the graphics, maybe add some other bells and whistles, and profit! Of course, it’s not just developers that love remakes. Heck, arguably the biggest show stopper of E3 2015 was the Final Fantasy 7 remake, which is saying a lot alongside Shenmue 3 and The Last Guardian.
Some decry game remakes as a symptom of a stagnating game industry. For my money, video game remakes are best when they take good games with potentially dated mechanics and polish the fine edges to make them great. Pokémon has been doing (and now redoing) this for years now, and lots of other games should follow suit. In light of this, here are the 10 games that are perfect remake material.
Note: Previously, we covered the 10 Japan-only games that should come west. It goes without saying that most of these games are prime candidates for remakes as well.
10: Dark Cloud
Despite releasing early in the PS2’s lifespan, Dark Cloud was surprisingly ambitious. It combines RPG dungeon crawling with city building elements that work surprisingly well put together. It’s extremely reminiscent of the SNES classic Actraiser, which is always a good sign in my book.
Alas, while Dark Cloud had good ideas, its myriad of random dungeons got repetitive quick. Nowadays, when games like The Binding Of Isaac have made randomized dungeons into an art form, it’s easy to see how Dark Cloud could be way better today. Sure, Dark Cloud 2 technically improved upon the formula in its own right. I still say the original Dark Cloud deserves a touch up for being such an iconic part of the PS2’s early library.
9: King’s Knight: Wrath of the Dark Dragon
Okay, this one’s a bit unorthodox for a list like this, but let me explain.
King’s Knight: Wrath of the Dark Dragon is a 2017 mobile follow up to SquareSoft’s (now Square Enix) King’s Knight for the NES. For those who don’t know, King’s Knight is often considered one of the worst games Square ever made. Yet surprisingly, Wrath of the Dark Dragon is pretty fun! It’s a unique blend of classic arcade shooters with RPG elements, and it even has co-op play!
Unfortunately, Wrath of the Dark Dragon released as a free-to-play title that relied on its gacha (AKA: lootboxes) to sustain it. Turns out enough people didn’t want to pay into that, so the game’s servers are shutting down for good.
This is one of those games that definitely doesn’t need to die like this. If it were repurposed to work as a static $20 downloadable title on modern consoles, Wrath of the Dark Dragon could change from a financial failure to a cult classic. Square Enix pulled a similar move with Final Fantasy Dimensions 2, so hopefully they’ll make the same call here.
You could argue that other defunct free-to-play games are good candidates for game remakes (RIP Terra Battle 2). I’m just giving the nod to King’s Knight being that it is A: unique and B: a good “remake” in its own right already.
8: Ys V
I can’t deny it, I’m an Ys fanboy. I love every game in the series, and I’m so happy that all of them are now available in English on modern technology. Well… all of them except Ys V.
Ys V is considered to be the black sheep of the series. Releasing exclusively on the Super Famicon in Japan, the game’s slow pace and atmospheric music are huge departures from what Ys is known for. It’s not a bad game by any stretch, just not what fans would want out of an Ys game. Falcom has absolutely knocked it out of the park with Ys remakes like Oath in Felghana in the past, so naturally fans are hoping Ys V will get the same treatment.
Fortunately, not only is the idea on Falcom’s radar, they’ve teased lots of potential ways they could make an Ys V remake bigger and better than even fans would expect. I’ve never been so excited for a game that hasn’t even been announced yet.
7: Demon’s Souls
Demon’s Souls is like Dark Souls before Dark Souls was Dark Souls.
Memes aside, Demon’s Souls is the true origin of the “Soulsborne” series. Despite its vintage, it remains a fan favorite to this day. Now that Dark Souls has gotten the Remaster treatment, fans have been hoping Demon’s Souls might get the same love. Even as a casual Souls fan (I could still git more gud), I can’t help but agree.
There are some exclusivity issues that might make Demon’s Souls hard to remake logistically. But considering the online servers have been shut down for this classic title, it’d be great to see some new life breathed into this one.
6: Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance
Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance is the spinoff no one asked for but everyone loved. By mixing the Dungeons and Dragons storytelling and mechanics of Baldur’s Gate with Diablo style gameplay, there’s nothing quite like Dark Alliance even today.
Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance is prime remake material for two reasons. One, even in Dark Alliance 2, the story ends on a giant cliffhanger that never got resolved. Two, the game is based on outdated DnD rules that weren’t quite balanced correctly. You can get into endgame of Dark Alliance and have heavy armor that is literally as effective as the weakest armor in the game. Now that’s busted.
A remake that addressed these issues could garner a whole new fanbase that’s never even heard of this PS2 classic. If the original Baldur’s Gate games can get all new enhanced editions, we’ll hold out hope that Dark Alliance might also qualify.